Presence of aliphatic and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in near-surface sediments of an oil spill area in Bohai Sea

Shuanglin Li, Shengyin Zhang, Heping Dong, Qingfang Zhao, Chunhui Cao
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2015 November 15, 100 (1): 169-175
In order to determine the source of organic matter and the fingerprint of the oil components, 50 samples collected from the near-surface sediments of the oil spill area in Bohai Sea, China, were analyzed for grain size, total organic carbon, aliphatic hydrocarbons (AHs), and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The concentrations of C15-35 n-alkanes and 16 United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) priority pollutant PAHs were found in the ranges of 0.88-3.48μg g(-1) and 9.97-490.13ng/g, respectively. The terrestrial organic matters characterized by C27-C35 n-alkanes and PAHs, resulting from the combustion of higher plants, are dominantly contributed from the transportation of these plants by rivers. Marine organic matters produced from plankton and aquatic plants were represented by C17-C26 n-alkanes in AHs. Crude oil, characterized by C17-C21 n-alkanes, unresolved complex mixture (UCM) with a mean response factor of C19 n-alkanes, low levels of perylene, and a high InP/(InP+BghiP) ratio, seeped into the oceans from deep hydrocarbon reservoirs, as a result of geological faults.

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